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Remembering Sister Marita Callahan, SP

Sister MaritaSister of Providence Marita Callahan, formerly known as Sister Mary Remigius, died on Oct. 20, 2018 in the 70th year of her religious life. Born Mary Rita Callahan in Dalton, Mass., she was the daughter of the late John and Mary (Nally) Callahan. After graduating from Dalton High School and St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing, she entered the Sisters of Providence in 1949.

Sister Marita’s first ministry was serving as a registered nurse at Our Lady of Providence Children’s Center, followed by three years at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, then two years at the former St. Luke’s Hospital in Pittsfield.


She then began her studies for a BS degree in Nursing at Boston College; at graduation in 1960, she received the undergraduate philosophy prize. She pursued her MS in nursing from The Catholic University of America,Washington D.C., graduating in 1962, and a MS in psychology from St. Louis University in 1965.

She was the formation coordinator for junior professed Sisters and accompanied them to Marillac College, in St. Louis, Mo., where she was an Assistant Professor in the Nursing Program from 1965-1971. Returning to Massachusetts in 1971, she joined the faculty at Holyoke Community College as an Associate Professor of Psychiatric Nursing; she was granted tenure as a full Professor in 1978. That same year, she was admitted to the University of Massachusetts Doctoral program and received her Ed.D. in 1982.

She served on the faculty at Holyoke Community College until 1997, and then taught part time until 2004. She received Holyoke Community College’s Distinguished Service Award and was named Professor Emerita in 2005. Following her retirement from teaching, she volunteered at Brightside School Street Counseling Institute.

In 2005, she was elected to the Sisters of Providence Executive Council for four years and served as the Secretary General. From 2009 to 2014, she was Council liaison to Sisters living at Mary’s Meadow.

She is survived by her Sisters in Community, three generations of devoted nieces and nephews, and many dear friends. She was predeceased by her beloved siblings, Francis N. Callahan, John N. Callahan and Margaret Callahan Ducharme, and her beloved niece Marykate Ducharme Sawyer.

A Liturgy of Christian Burial was celebrated on Sat., Oct. 27, at 10 a.m. in the Providence Place Chapel.

To send your condolences, please email the SP Communications Office.

Memorial donations may be made to the Sisters of Providence, 5 Gamelin Street, Holyoke, MA 01040.


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